Arthur Ernest Percival MOTT


MOTT, Arthur Ernest Percival

Service Number: 309
Enlisted: 28 January 1915, Melbourne, Victoria
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: No. 1 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps
Born: Skenes Creek, Victoria, Australia, 11 November 1895
Home Town: Moonee Ponds, Moonee Valley, Victoria
Schooling: Essendon State School No 483
Occupation: Instrument maker
Died: Accidental (air crash), Montrose, Scotland, 24 December 1917, aged 22 years
Cemetery: Montrose (Sleepyhillock) Cemetery
A7 33
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Essendon State School No 483 Roll of Honor, Moonee Ponds Methodist Church HB
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World War 1 Service

28 Jan 1915: Enlisted First Class Air Mechanic, SN 309, Australian Flying Corps (AFC), Melbourne, Victoria
16 Mar 1916: Involvement Sergeant, SN 309, No. 1 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
16 Mar 1916: Embarked Sergeant, SN 309, No. 1 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps, HMAT Orsova, Melbourne
18 May 1916: Promoted Second Lieutenant, No. 1 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps
18 Aug 1916: Promoted Lieutenant, No. 1 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps
24 Dec 1917: Involvement Lieutenant, No. 1 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps

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Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

Son of George Rokes Mott and Elizabeth Mott, of 73, Salisbury St., Moonee Ponds, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Lieutenant A E P Mott of Melbourne, a member of the Royal Flying Corps, has been drowned at Montrose Bay, in Scotland. He was flying when his machine fell into the water and both he and the machine sank. He was 22 years of age.
Lieutenant Mott received his first military training as a cadet under the Commonwealth compulsory training scheme. He rose from the ranks in the 58th Senior Cadet Battalion to the rank of colour sergeant, and when he became 18 years of age was transferred to the 34th Battalion of Engineers  (Electric Company).  In that corps, after much hard work, he reached the rank of corporal and at the beginning of the war he was on duty at the Port Phillip  Heads with his corps for four months. He had been apprenticed to a maker of electrical instruments in Melbourne, and had erected a wireless plant at his mother's home at Moonee Ponds.  In obedience to the official order this plant was dismantled at the outbreak of the war, but it did not lie idle. The enthusiastic lad took it to the Heads with him and during his four months' stay there used it on the pilot boat. He returned home and enlisted as a private in the Australian Flying Corps, receiving many months of training at the Central Flying School, Point Cook under Major E Harrison.

Leaving for Egypt as sergeant in charge of a wireless section of the flying corps early in 1916 he was appointed to commissioned rank in May 1916, as a second lieutenant in charge of wireless equipment. His work was so appreciated by his superior officers that he was sent to many parts of Egypt to erect wireless stations. Trying experiences fell to his lot there, but he did good work.

ln addition to his strictly official duties he conducted experiments and made improvements in the wireless instruments in use in Egypt. He also improved the wireless apparatus carried on aeroplanes by which the airmen were able to transmit messages from the aeroplanes over a radius of 20 miles. He was  recommended for further training in England, and was so highly commended that he was given a pass to visit all the wireless instrument factories and depots in England for the purpose of study.

He had been, engaged in this way for some months and was on his way back to Egypt in the Transylvania when she was sunk by a submarine. In this ship he lost all his instruments and the notes taken during his months of study in England. Three times before had he tried to leave England for Egypt but each time some mishap prevented him from sailing.

After the sinking of the Transylvania he returned to England. His reputation had spread, and Lieut-General Sir Henry Chauvel, in command of the Australian troops operating in Palestine; Colonel E H Reynolds, director of aviation in the AIF; the general in charge of the Middle East command in England, and the  Australian Flying Squadron in Egypt were all applying for his services. Promotion was not rapid enough for him in the wireless section of the flying corps, and he was training for his pilot's certificate when he met with his death.

Three brothers of the late airman are on active service. One, Captain J F Mott recently escaped from a prison camp in Germany, after a daring and dangerous journey of 100 miles. His other two brothers are Quartermaster-Sergeant A A B Mott of the 58th Battalion, and Private G Mott of the flying corps. His mother is Mrs E Mott, of 73 Salisbury street, Moonee Ponds. The deceased soldier was the youngest son of the family.